Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Eight celeb chefs create healthy dishes from dessert to breakfast foods...
President Obama and First Lady Obama invited eight celebrity chefs to demonstrate healthy recipes at Monday's 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll, with the theme of “Let’s Go, Let’s Play, Let’s Move!,” designed to spotlight Mrs. Obama's child obesity campaign. The chefs worked in the Kids' Kitchen, located at the bottom of the South Lawn beside the Kitchen Garden. White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses and Assistant Pastry Chef Susie Morrison also gave a cooking demonstration, kicking the day off with the first demo early in the morning. (Above).
Mrs. Obama joined New York restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson as he demo'd shrimp and vegetable tacos. He was the guest chef for the Obamas' first State Dinner, in honor of India's Prime Minster Manmohan Singh, and last year won Top Chef Masters. The cooking pavilion--complete with ceiling mirrors so the audience could watch the action--anchored the Play With Your Food activity area, which was filled with exhibits, including a booth on beekeeping run by Charlie Brandts, White House Beekeeper, and two gardening booths, as well as a miniature Farmers Market offering organic apples and oranges to the kids, courtesy of Whole Foods.
The invited chefs included four other vets of Top Chef: Frederick, MD's Bryan Voltaggio, chef/owner of Volt restaurant; Carla Hall, now of ABC's The Chew; Paul Qui, Executive Chef of Uchiko in Austin, TX and the winner of Top Chef: Dallas; and Richard Blais, who now has his own TV show, Reinventing the Meal on the Cooking Channel. Qui and Blais joined Mrs. Obama in Dallas in February for a special Top Chef filming that celebrated the second anniversary of the Let's Move! campaign.
The Neelys--Gina and Pat--who host Food Network's Down Home with the Neelys, and culinary personality Andrew Zimmern, best known for the Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods, also wowed the crowds with cooking demonstrations, all of which were livestreamed on the White House website.
2012 marks the fourth year that the Obamas' Easter Egg Roll has featured a Kids' Kitchen; Mrs. Obama had not yet launched the Let's Move! campaign during the first Roll in 2009, when the White House chefs and celeb chefs including Jose Andres gave cooking demos.
This year's 134th annual Roll was the largest in White House history, with more than 35,000 guests invited from all fifty states. It lasted from 7:20 AM until 6:30 PM, with guests entering in five groups of 6,000. They were treated to musical performances and costumed characters in addition to the food and fitness fun. The President and Mrs. Obama during their visit to the South Lawn Egg Rolled and read childrens books in the Storytime Garden. Joined by Bob Harper, host of the competition weight-loss show The Biggest Loser, Mrs. Obama cheered on kids doing fitness drills in the Eggtivity Zone.
Kids left the White House with treat bags that included a souvenir wooden Easter Egg (some starring an illustration of First Dog Bo and his pawprint), and yellow marshmallow Peeps, as well as a poster and activity book, and the fruit they'd plucked from the Farmers Market.
DOWNLOAD the 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll Program by clicking here; it describes the events and stations on the South Lawn [PDF]. CLICK HERE for all posts about the Roll, including the talent line-up.
*White House videos